I thought that the world was rich enough in vegan breakfast cookie recipes (heck, I even have one in my cookbook!), but I polled interest on this particular one on Instagram a little while ago and the response was so surprising! I guess a lot of us are in need of grab and go breakfast options these days. Or we all just really love cookies :)
I had to re-test and refine these nutty vegan breakfast cookies quite a bit to get to this point. The first iterations were tasty enough, but unfortunately fell apart quite easily after a couple days. I know that a lot of people prep things like this at the beginning of the week, so I was after a certain level of sturdiness. I also realized that I didn’t enjoy the dried fruit in them at all, which is strange because I love raisins in cookies generally. But in this one, it was really messing with the texture and making them a lot more wet-seeming than they needed to be.
I posted this article about the toll of industrial almond crops on bee health and the environment and SO many people responded with their feelings about it. A couple professional beekeepers messaged me and confirmed that the rate of almond production in North America really is messing with bees. On top of that, I’ve read that a single almond requires over one gallon of water to produce. Going forward, I will try to be more selective with my almond sourcing and will likely opt for other plant-based milks more often if I can.
But why did I keep the almond flour in this recipe? Quite simply: I had a big bag sitting in my pantry from a pre-holiday shopping trip. One of the most basic but important things I’ve learned about minimizing waste and environmentally-conscious lifestyle choices is that actually using up what you have before purchasing the most sustainable/ethical replacement is the right thing to do–even if it isn’t super exciting. There’s a great local shop that sells a lot of cool zero waste and natural body care items, and the owner often emphasizes that she would prefer her potential customers use up what they have before making a purchase at her store. I respect this so much!
If you’re out of almond flour and have the opportunity to make a more sustainable choice, I list some alternatives in the recipe headnotes. Ultimately, using what you have access to is what will work best for you. I’m all about those small, do-able, and gradual changes that take up more space in our consciousness because we’ve slowly built them up over time. But for now, the cookies :)
NUTTY VEGAN BREAKFAST COOKIES RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes 11 large cookies
NOTES: If you have a sensitivity, you can replace the rolled oats with either quinoa flakes or buckwheat flakes. These are both pseudograins, so not totally appropriate for those that are avoiding grains. I have not tested a grain-free version of these, so cannot comment on substitutions.
-You can substitute hazelnut meal or a homemade meal of raw sunflower seeds (just grind raw sunflower seeds in a food processor until they resemble almond flour/meal). Be aware that sunflower seed meal combined with baking soda always leads to green-ish tinged baked goods.
-The maple syrup is a key structural and binding component for these. I have not tested the cookies without the presence of any kind of sweetener, so experiment at your own risk.
-If you’re using an alternative nut/seed butter here, it MUST be smooth, well-stirred, and fluid.
-These cookies store best when they are LOOSELY wrapped in either aluminum foil or Beeswrap. A tightly sealed Tupperware-style container will make them too moist/crumbly over time!
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons filtered water
1 cup rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
¾ cup almond flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
¼ cup avocado oil, sunflower oil OR melted coconut oil
¼ cup smooth, well-stirred & DRIPPY peanut butter
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
millet, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water. Stir to combine and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, almond flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine the avocado oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and the thickened flaxseed mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined and creamy.
Add the avocado oil mixture to the dry ingredients in the largo bowl. Using a spatula, stir until you have a thick batter and all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Using a scant ¼ cup measure, scoop up the batter and bang it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Flatten each portion of dough out with your palm while simultaneously shaping the sides of the cookie with your other hand. You want solid edges; not craggy ones. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of millet.
Bake the vegan breakfast cookies for 28-30 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly firm. Let them cool thoroughly (at least one hour) before storing in a loosely covered container/aluminum foil/Beeswrap setup (see headnote) at room temperature for up to 5 days.